Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mariners Defeat Townies in Game #4 to Clinch Title

On Saturday afternoon, at Evans Field in Rockport, the Manchester-Essex Mariners defeated the Rockport Townies in Game #4 3-1 to clinch the 2010 ITL Championship. In another tight battle the Mariners were able to hold off several rallies from the Townies to capture their 3rd straight championship.

Just as in Game #1 of the series, this proved to be a matchup of starting pitchers Derek Osmond of Rockport and Steve Stout for the Mariners. Both pitchers excelled on the mound for their respective teams, each pitching their second complete games of the series. Stout for the second straight outing surrendered only 1 unearned run, while scattering 8 hits, striking out 4, and walking 2. Osmond gave up only 6 hits on the day, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walk and hit 2 Mariners batters.

The Townies got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the 2nd inning when with 1 out leftfielder Jason Koerth reached first base on a fielder's choice and moved up to 2nd base while the lead runner was tagged out in a run down. After a strikeout, the #9 hitter and rightfielder Garrett Folger drove a single up the middle to knock in the first run of the game.

The Mariners were kept in check until the 4th inning, when all the action occurred with 2 outs already on the board. #8 hitter Mike Cain took an Osmond pitch to the woods in centerfield to tie the game at 1-1. Shortstop Whit Graham immediately followed with a sharply hit single to left field to bring the top of the order back up. Centerfielder, Rory Gentile stroked a single to centerfield to move Graham to third base. Player/coach and catcher Bryan Lafata then took the first offering right back up the middle for the Mariners 4th consecutive hit and driving in Graham to take a 2-1 lead.

Every inning from there on the Townies would get atleast one baserunner each inning but Stout and the Mariners defense came up at the right times to prevent the Townies from getting that 2nd run across the plate. The best threat put forward by the Townies was when MVP candidate, 3rd baseman Brent Currier hit a line shot over the leftfielders head all the way to the far end of Evans Field. Currier ended up with a triple on that hit to lead off the bottom of the 5th inning. After a Dan Greel walk to put runners on the corner, shortstop Mike Emerson hit a ground ball to 3rd baseman Nate Bertolino's left and appeared to be forcing Bertolino to go to 2nd base with the ball and try and turn a double play. At the last moment Bertolino pump faked, held the ball and threw off balance to the plate where Currier had taken off for. Lafata had plenty of time to catch Bertolino's throw and have a short dance contest with Currier before tagging him out.

In the top of the 7th inning the Mariners tacked on an insurance run when Bertolino reached on an error and pitch runner Jeremy Nicastro replaced him. Nicastro moved up to 2nd base on a wild pitch and immediately afterwards moved to 3rd base on a Joe Orlando ground out to 1st base. With the infield in the Mariners grounded out to shortstop without getting the run home. Brett Cahill, the DH, then drove a single up the middle with 2 outs to drive home Nicastro.

The Townies threatened again in the bottom of the 7th inning with 2 more hits, but helped out the Mariners with a baserunning error. With two outs Nate Bertolino caught the final out in foul territory to clinch the Mariners 3rd consecutive title.

The Townies were led offensively by Currier and Dan Greel with 2 hits a piece, while Osmond, Folger, and Thomas Robertson also hit safely. For the Mariners 6 players recorded a hit with 4 of the 6 hits being the consecutive hits in the 4th inning.

Congratulations to both the Mariners & Townies on a great series and season overall, also to all the teams in ITL for another successful season.

To see more pictures of Saturdays action go to

Click on "View your Pictures" then "events", and you will see the ITL Mariners album.